This unit positions an exploration of the FSM amidst a larger study of student activism in the 1960s, highlighting the FSM as a key event in the evolution of student demands in the 1960s. Students will need to understand a basic chronology of the black freedom struggle and explore the significance of student activism during the 1960s. Mario Savio, one of the early leaders of the FSM, participated in the Mississippi Summer Project, sponsored by the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO). Additionally, the conflict over free speech at UC Berkeley extended from the increased civil rights activism of the university’s students. After exploring the demands of the FSM, students will explore the emergence of the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF) at San Francisco State, which eventually led to the creation of the College of Ethnic Studies. Through these lessons, students will be able to compare and contrast how each group reimagined the role of schools and education as well as make connections to their own experience as high school students.
This unit, composed of three multi-day lessons, was constructed by high school teacher Miroslaba Velo and graduate student Natalie Mendoza, in consultation with the UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement (FSM).
This toolkit contains an overview for preparing students to practice the skills of oral history and worksheets to be used with students. Mini-lessons include ideas for translating classroom learnings into good interview questions, interview templates, and an interviewer/interviewee agreement.
This toolkit was created in partnership between UCBHSSP and the Regional Oral History Office at The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.